Hawaii airports get $90M for health, safety improvements

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The Hawaii legislature approved $90 million in funding to improve health and safety systems at state airports to help contain the spread of coronavirus. Pictured, Daniel K. Inouye Airport in Honolulu.
The Hawaii legislature approved $90 million in funding to improve health and safety systems at state airports to help contain the spread of coronavirus. Pictured, Daniel K. Inouye Airport in Honolulu. Photo Credit: HTA/Ron Garnett

The Hawaii state legislature has designated $90 million for installing new health and safety systems at Aloha State airports to aid in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

The funding, approved by the both chambers of the legislature on June 26, will go toward thermal screening systems, web-based verification applications, screening and testing facilities, and increased testing capacity. The funds are coming out of federal Cares Act aid sent to Hawaii.

"This investment in airport screening protocols will help us reopen tourism in the safest possible manner, screening all travelers and verifying their pre-testing information," House Finance chair Sylvia Luke said in a statement.

The funding for airport improvements comes as Hawaii continues a phased reopening of tourism. A mandatory 14-day quarantine for interisland travelers was lifted on June 16, and beginning Aug. 1, trans-Pacific travelers can choose to get a coronavirus test prior to arriving in Hawaii. If they produce proof of a negative test within 72 hours of arrival, they will be able to skip the quarantine.

The systems will be installed at Daniel K. Inouye Airport in Honolulu, Kahului Airport, Ellison Onizuka Kona Airport at Keahole, Hilo Airport and Lihue Airport.

In addition to thermal screening cameras, facial imaging tracking systems and control rooms, funds will go toward construction of testing and verification rooms for arriving passengers, maintenance, labor and a web-based app for health forms and passenger verification information.

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